Repetitive Strain Injury or RSI is a sort of injury to the musculoskeletal and nervous system which is caused by vibrations, repetitive tasks, mechanical compression, forcible extortion and many more.
It is the strain connected to certain actions which are repeated frequently and may cause severe pain in arms, back, neck, shoulders and in the thumbs. Carrying heavy loads, going through injuries, sitting in a wrong procedure or sleeping in a bad position is considered as some of the common reasons for Repetitive Strain Injury.
What is Repetitive Strain Injury and What Are Its Causes?
Repetitive Strain Injury is described as a Cumulative Trauma Disorder that stems from the prolonged forceful, repetitive or any other odd hand movements.
It is a range of painful situations in the tendons, soft tissues and in the muscles. Usually, it is related to the occupation or task and even leisure activities. It can effect the person as per the performance of work.
It has been seen that people working on computer for long hours generally suffer from this type of problem.
You may wonder how apparently mild activities like mouse clicking and typing on a keyword could be harmful. Well, fine movements of hands that are repeated every hour, every day and thousands of times strain the tendons and muscles of the writs, forearms and fingers sourcing microscopic tears.
Due to this, muscles and tendons become inflamed and begin to touch the neighboring nerves which results to tingling sensation, numbness or hypersensitivity to handle anything. Unless this situation is interrupted, it repeats again and again for a long term that results to chronic issues.
Mostly, Repetitive Strain Injury affects to more areas other than hands and wrists. Poor posture and back injuries lead to RSI and staring at the screen of a Laptop or Desktop leads to eyestrain. Rhythmic reach for the mouse leads to neck and arm sprain as well as spinal asymmetry.
Certain things that are considered to enhance the risk include:
- Repetitive activities
- Performing a high strength activity for a long time without taking any rest
- Poor positions in performing work leads to stress and pain
- Overuse of vibrating equipment
- Performing forceful activities
- Carrying extra weight or heavy loads
- Working in a chilled weather
- Increased stress mentally worsens the condition
- Direct stress on particular areas like neck and back
- Working in non-ergonomically designed area
What Are The Symptoms of Repetitive Strain Injury?
The major symptoms of repetitive strain injury in hand due to regular computer work include feeling pain and tightness in arms, dull ache and numbness in fingers, throbbing and Tingling feel. Symptoms of repetitive strain injury in shoulders and neck region includes stiffness and pain in neck. These symptoms have a tendency to develop gradually. However with proper rest one can get the relief at initial stages.
Besides the above, there are other symptoms and related problems which if not tackled may lead to severe conditions. These include:
- DeQuervain’s syndrome
- Diffuse Repetitive Strain injury
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Gamekeeper’s thumb
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Raynauds disease
- Ganglion symptoms that restrict the movement
How to Prevent or Avoid Repetitive Strain Injury?
The best treatment for RSI is to control the wrong postures, heavy work and the long term task that enhances pain in the body. The below list presents methods to follow which ensures that you are repetitive stress injury free:
- Taking regular breaks from the task, if your work is next to the laptop or desktop, it is useful to set the alarm as a reminder to take short and simple breaks.
- Remember to stand up, perform a simple exercise and stretch frequently. Also extend your arms, stand erect and stretch the fingers.
- Occasionally give a break to your vision. If it is the incessant view to the screen, give a break to rest the eyes and relax them for a while to return back to work.
- Maintain health with proper diet, exercise that keeps your body flexible. Avoid smoking as this reduces the flow of blood in the body and muscles.
- Check your sitting position as arms need to be comfortable, wrist need to be straight and hands in good flow if you are typing on the keyboard.
The first and foremost thing while getting the RSI treatment is to understand the cause of the problem, know it and then follow the right procedure to get cured. This acts as a miracle on your body and gives what it needs with a capacity to heal without any medicine or therapy.
If the pain is severe, consult your physician or specialist to recognize the issue and to deal it in a better way for getting best results. Below are few conservative treatment methods to follow for curing RSI:
Rest the particular affected area is the first recommendation and avoid any further stress on the affected area. To some extent it is not possible, but practice of doing less work and relaxing for required time reduces the pain in muscles and let you cure the disorder at a faster pace.
Analgesics and Splinting help the symptoms for certain time. But the real symptoms need to be treated for long term success and feel good in health. Vitamin B6 therapy is a good way to cure the symptoms as it helps to cure the damaged nerve, though it does not correct the real cause of the muscle imbalance. It is good to follow an anti-inflammatory medicine and reduce the swelling to feel relief from the median nerve and correct the dysfunction.
Furthermore erase everything from the mind about the RSI and any injured tissue problem. This acts on your mind psychologically to treat the problem fast.
Overall, we can say that if you maintain breaks and relax your body frequently you can easily avoid the injury problem. This also helps you to be more productive and be in good health as well.
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